MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa — Officers from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force visited Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Nov. 15 to tour a static display of an MV-22aB Osprey.
The officers’ visit with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, served to inform the JGSDF officers about the aircraft and helped build relations between them and the Marines, according to Col. Jonathan C. Goff, the Marine Corps Forces Pacific liaison to the JGSDF.
“By letting them see the Ospreys up close and learn about them, we’re building upon the trust between our forces and improving our ability to work together,” said Goff. “If they learn what the Marines are capable of doing, they can prepare for that and learn to work together with us to achieve mission accomplishment.”
The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that has the functionality of a fixed-wing aircraft and can take-off and land like a helicopter. This gives it the ability to travel farther than conventional helicopters while maintaining its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.
The officers took full advantage of the opportunity to see an Osprey up close and learn more about its capabilities, according to Col. Tetsuro Kagao, a researcher with 2nd Research Office, 1st Division of Research and Development Department, Ground Research and Development Command, JGSDF.
“We appreciate any opportunity to learn about our American brothers,” said Kagao. “Everything we learn here will help us to work together in future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and military operations.”
The experience strengthened the bonds between the two forces and encouraged learning more about each other, according to Col. Manabu Shimamoto, the chief of 2nd Division of Research and Development Department.
“We need cooperation between our forces in case of emergencies,” said Shimamoto. “Learning about each other helps to build coordination and friendship.”